Scrutinizing Your Pastor Is Stupid. Don't Be Stupid.
I work for the Church. I'm a pastor and have been so for almost 2.5 years. While this isn't a long time, it is certainly long enough to catch on to a few things. What I've found is that Pastors are put under a lot of scrutiny and, if I may play my hand early this time around, unjustly so. I understand that teachers of the Bible are held to a higher standard because of the position of authority they hold. I get it. I do not believe, however, that this means we should sustain the level of scrutiny that we currently enjoy.
Before I continue let me define my terms: by 'scrutiny' I mean an unnecessary level of interest in the nitty-gritty details of another's life, with a bent towards judgment. This differs from 'accountability' in that accountability is what occurs between trustworthy friends who have established a relationship and have henceforth begun to pray for one another, correct one another, and encourage one another towards spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness.
Perhaps you already see where I'm headed with this.
When I want my life scrutinized I'll call TMZ.
Holding someone accountable is biblical and correct. Scrutinizing someone is un-biblical and lazy. Accountability is a two way street, it is a mutual relationship. Scrutinizing is one sided and vindictive.
I wholeheartedly believe that Pastors should be held accountable. We all know what can happen when they are not. The news headlines are full of Pastors who have gone off the deep end because they were never held accountable. The number of sex scandals, money laundering schemes, and tax evasions that could have been prevented if accountability was taken seriously is sickening and should serve as a terrifying reminder of how critically important accountability is for Pastors (and anyone with a pulse for that matter).
What should not continue is the amount of scrutiny that Pastors endure. The gossip around their personal lives, how their kids behave on a given day, whether or not they drink, etc must stop. Seriously, stop.
Pastors are not perfect and neither are you. Everyone is saved by grace, not by being a good Christian. Focus on building accountable relationships with those strong Christians in your life. Be the person who starts the swell of accountability at your church not the one who fuels the gossip train.